Newcastle United star Jonjo Shelvey says he knew it was time to “grow up” and speaking to a psychologist has helped him.
The Magpies midfielder has been sent off four times and received 28 yellow cards in his career but has only been booked once in his past 19 matches. His most recent sending-off came against Everton in December 2017.
“I’m 26 years of age and it was time to mature and grow up. I feel that I have now,” Shelvey told BBC Football Focus.
The England international thinks his ultra-competitive nature has at times caused him problems on the pitch but that speaking to a psychologist has helped him.
“[The psychologist] gives you little pointers that if you do feel you’re losing your head,” Shelvey said.
He acknowledged aspects of his career have not worked out as he would have liked, such as his absence from the England squad that reached the semi-finals of the World Cup in Russia this summer.
“I feel I could have achieved a hell of a lot more than I have,” Shelvey said. “I have got six England caps and feel I should have double or maybe even treble that.”
“I have made bad decisions in the past. But that’s part of growing up and learning,” he said.